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Humboldt and caterpillars

Bill FoxBy Bill Fox/Column

Many of us, at least for a while, will be Humboldt Broncos.  The terrible recent accident taking the lives of 15 people in a hockey bus on the way to a playoff game in Saskatchewan had an effect on so many of us.  Anyone who has played hockey or even just travelled on a bus may have been affected by this terrible loss of life.

At the same time, as their next home playoff game, a vigil was held in the Humboldt Arena.  In attendance, symbolically extending condolences on behalf of all Canadians, was our Prime Minister.  Also seated in the bleachers were Don Cherry, Doug MacLean and many other ambassadors of our great game of hockey.

My wife and I sat spellbound watching the televised ceremony and listening to the words of the religious leaders and to the local choir members singing hymns.  Everyone was trying to console each other and to make some sense of what had just happened. The overriding theme was that each person there was not alone, and if they needed support they had to only reach out to neighbours, friends and family.

As tragic as this was, and as overwhelming as we all felt, I feel compelled to try to offer some solace to those affected.

When I was a child, I recall seeing caterpillars turning into cocoons, and later seeing butterflies breaking out from those same cocoons.  Being inquisitive a few times I opened those cocoons thinking I would find a baby caterpillar, but no such luck.  To all intents and purposes there was no life in that cocoon!  How could it be that a sloth like caterpillar crawling slowly along branches, could change into a cocoon and a beautiful butterfly could break out of that cocoon and fly away free into the sky.

Maybe we are all like that caterpillar.  We struggle along slowly with our lives, and some are more successful and than others in accumulating food and nicer habitants…yet despite our desire to resist, we all eventually fall into what appears to be a lifeless form.

Yet out of that lifeless cocoon emerges the most beautiful butterfly.  Just like those caterpillars that could not ever imagine what the future might hold for them, we too may have a future that is unimaginable to our limited intellect. That’s my belief and hope.